Thank You Taylor Swift

I went to a Taylor Swift concert last night. My daughter is a fan, and, after last night, I am too. It’s not that she has incredible vocals, her ability is adequate. It’s not that her music is inspired, although some label it as such. It’s not her beauty, which is in the eye of the beholder. It’s her grace. She is lovely. She managed to make 14,000 people feel like they were the most important people in the world to her. She managed to woo a whole stadium with her gentle spirit and her ladylike manner. I saw girls of all ages relate to her as she spoke from her heart, and I saw boys of all ages fall in love. Boys who we’ve been led to believe would prefer sultry, sexy edginess over demure femininity, were enchanted by this young woman who held herself with dignity and poise and dressed herself in beautiful, modest dresses. My eyes and ears are assaulted daily by the likes of Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Britney Spears (I’m not making a statement about the quality of their music – I’m making commentary on their persona as a whole).

How silly that something as trite as a pop/country concert performed by a tiny girl who likes to fall in love so easily with cute boys who capture her attention, would give me hope. I sat in the stands with my young daughter who is on the cusp of transforming into a young lady, and was glad she was a witness to this beautiful display of femininity and the absolute power it holds over people. I hope she took note of the gracious and kind words that were spoken in thanks. I hope she heard the transparency and vulnerability in the stories that were shared. I hope she noticed the way Ms. Swift sat in her flouncy dress, playing her banjo with her knees together and her ankles crossed. I hope she saw the power a woman can have over an audience without a single undulation or a millimeter of cleavage. I did.  And I feel validated for the times I’ve personally chosen subtle instead of sexy and was encouraged to be more intentional about doing so in the future. So thank you Taylor Swift – and all others like you. You bring dignity to our gender and give mothers of young daughters someone to point to.

However lovely Ms. Swift may be, she is not flawless. I can’t condone the gossipy/slanderous lyrics she sometimes pens, and I have concerns when young ladies show a pattern of flitting from boy to boy without leaving much time in between regain a sense of themselves as individuals. But, as young ladies in the public spotlight go, she’s enchanting. And the concert was truly an event like no other.

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